Inktober – Day 5


That’s today’s prompt word for Inktober 2020 and here’s my submission…

Inktober 2020 – Day 5 – Blade

On a work day I wanted to do something simple and, since I have been feeling pretty rubbish for the last 4 days, ‘simple’ was all I was up to.

I started with a 2 minute sketch on my laptop, which I was pretty pleased with.

The original sketch

However, it ain’t ink. It’s software, so it don’t count. I don’t have any fat pens, which means I couldn’t recreate the style on paper. That said, I’m relatively pleased with the final cut. ‘Cut,’ ‘Blade.’ Geddit? No? Just me then.

For those interested in learning more about Inktober click on the photo link below for a YouTube video.

Link to Inktober video
How to do Inktober

Tomorrow is RODENT. I hate rats, so don’t expect anything cute.

If you like my blog, drawings, diatribe do click the like button. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. And, who knows, maybe multiple likes is the yet to be discovered cure for Long Covid.



I don’t want to go on the cart!

I’m getting better…

The above, for those under the age of 40, is a still from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In the scene a cart is being pulled around a medieval village taking away those killed by the plague. One man tries to put an old man on the cart who is clearly still alive. This is made obvious by the fact that he says: “I’m not dead.” It’s a very funny film and a very funny scene.

To coin that same phrase from that very film I would just like to say…

I’m not dead

I may have been quiet since my last post way back in April but I am still alive. Despite Covid 19’s attempts to put me on the cart. There are even 2 drafts (unpublished obviously) that prove I did mean to write more but, it all came to nought. This time it’s different. This time I will finish my post. This time I will fill you in on how I failed to die.

After a week of feeling rough, watching a lot of mindless TV and having Mrs P closely monitor me to check she didn’t need to call the man with the cart, I got, wait for it… worse. I experienced some very odd symptoms; permanent headache; mild nausea; passing out while lying down!; having my whole body start to ‘fizz’ – that word incidentally does not do the sensation justice but, is as close to a description as I can get – and being unable to think straight (maybe that is normal?). I was worried. I called 111 (NHS helpline). They told me to go straight to hospital , do not pass go, do not collect £200.

I was dropped off by a rather concerned Mrs P at about 11am. She was not allowed to accompany me. 6 hours later she was, unsurprisingly, wondering where I was. So was I. I had been seen by a doctor and told to sit in the waiting room especially for those who may have Covid19, where incidentally there is little or no phone signal. Now, I love the NHS but, in the waiting room I was mostly alone; mostly curled up in a ball and completely ignored. For 6 hours. I’m pretty sure I passed out twice, but was too ‘out of it’ to go ask for help. Eventually I managed to get up the energy to ask what was happening and shortly after I was taken through to the consulting area. Seen by a doctor and told I was going to be admitted to a ward. I think this was because they didn’t have room for me to be sitting around cluttering up the place. I was also tested for Covid 19, which involves a nurse dressed up as an astronaut shoving a 7 foot long cotton bud 5 feet up your nasal passage until she is scratching the furthest reaches of the inside of your skull.

I had by this time managed to get a message to Mrs P to put her mind at rest. I was briefly wheeled off and admitted to a ward where they fed me and gave me a drink. I was finally released back into the care of Mrs P at about 10pm. 11 hours after I had arrived.

I spent the next week or so being phoned daily by the hospital ( I still think they are great) to check my blood/oxygen levels with the promise that, if the reading went below 94%, I had to return to hospital immediately. I once reached the dreaded 93%, but convinced them that I wasn’t too short of breath and would just get in the way. I asked them to call back in 30 minutes by which time my reading had gone back up to 95%.

Anyway, long story short…

I’m getting better.”

That’s another quote from the same scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail by the way. [Spoiler alert] It doesn’t do him any good. He ends up on the cart. We all end upon the cart eventually.

For your information, I tested positive for Covid 19 on April 29th. As a result of which I wasn’t allowed to go to my poor old Mom’s funeral. At no point have I had a cough or a high temperature. Oh, and Mrs P has been very worried.

In my next post, should you return and should I survive long enough to write it, I will tell you why I have been so quiet on the blogging front for nearly 3 months and how, even now, nearly 11 weeks later, I am still struggling to return to full fitness. Don’t feel sorry for me though. The following picture shows that things ain’t too bad, they never are.

Admitedly I didn’t cycle so far or so fast but I still deserved the coffee and cake

Present Tense – Past Tense – Wednesday 15th April 2020

The original Mrs P is not well. My mom.

Mom, Dorothy and my dad, Bernard on their wedding day in 1955

This forces me to follow the herd and talk about COVID 19 as mom is in a home where the dreaded virus has been confirmed and mom, never one to miss out, has decided to join in.

My brothers can’t visit. One is asthmatic the other has a wife in the high risk category. Since there is only Mrs. P and I and since we have no mates the brothers have declared me expendable. So, I have donned my PPE and traveled up to sunny Bromsgrove to visit mom.

Some would suggest that PPE improves my looks.

Not much more than a month ago most people thought PPE was something you might have been miss-sold by a solicitor with dyslexia. Now, we all know. The fear factor that has been hard wired, with perhaps too great efficiency, into the public psyche means that we don’t just know what it is but we now all want a piece of it. Whilst I like to think that I rock the look, none of it will be forming any part of my daily sartorial choices.

Did I mention that every cloud has a silver lining? If one can be derived from this situation it is this…

…wait for it…

Gandalf is, technically, back on tour.

Gandalf to the rescue

Mom’s home is almost 2 hours away. I will be with her all day but don’t want to impose on the staff. I also don’t want to interact with people on my return journey since I will have been in direct contact with the dreaded lurgy. I also want to eat and drink. So, Gandalf is coming with me to provide a lunchtime sanctuary, a means of making tea and a bed if necessary. He is a star.

The true stars here however are the staff at mom’s nursing home, St. John’s Court, Bromsgrove where Mom has been a resident since 2015. Mom has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and, shortly after Dad’s death in 2015 she moved into the home as she was no longer able to look after herself without Dad’s help.

St. John’s is a bit like Hogwarts for the elderly.

What lies beyond platform 9 3/4
Mom, about to put on the Sorting Hat shortly after her arrival – Hufflepuff

Mom loves it here. She is always singing the praises of the staff and telling us how lovely it is. She has thrived with these marvellous people to care for her. And then we have the acid test of how good the place is. Margaret, mom’s twin sister. Margaret, and her husband John, visit every couple of weeks. Or, at least they did before lockdown. They are well known here (some would say ‘infamous’) and Margaret thinks the place and the staff are just great too. Boy would we have been in trouble if we hadn’t found somewhere for mom that Margaret approved of.


Yesterday, Mom and I spent as pleasant a day as is possible under the circumstances. Unfortunately however, her condition worsened over night and I was back today. Holding her hand and wittering on about inane rubbish. She never woke up. She didn’t suffer.

Mom died at 8.15pm on Thursday 16th April. A fighter to the end.

Mom and Dad in happier times – Circa 1953

R.I.P. Dorothy Evelyn Pitts.

8th August 1933 – 16th April 2020